By Rebecca Nicholson
Eva Green has played a lot of witches. “Different kinds of witches,” says the French actor, sipping a dark red juice that looks, naturally, like a cup of blood. Tim Burton made her a blonde witch in his 2014 film Dark Shadows, and liked her so much that he cast her as the lead in his next film, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. She’s done indie films, arthouse films and blockbusters, was a Bond girl in the best Daniel Craig Bond Casino Royale and put in some serious action hero green-screen time with 300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. If there’s a complicated woman who may have a murderous side, or a supernatural side, or both, then Eva is top of the list.
She’s suitably goth-like today, dressed entirely in black and speaking in such a whisper that it’s sometimes hard to hear her. She says ‘I don’t know’ before she gives an answer, almost every time; sometimes to deflect, if she doesn’t necessarily want to get into something, and sometimes because she often seems unsure of herself. She says she was desperately reserved as a kid. Actors do that ‘Don’t look at me I’m shy’ false modesty thing all the time, but with her, you can believe it.
Right now she’s putting her dark side through its paces in the third season of Penny Dreadful, in which she plays Vanessa Ives, a demon-hunting medium who was possessed by the devil and fell in love with a werewolf. This time she looks set to romance a suspiciously mysterious stranger, as well as going through some early form of proto-psychotherapy. We talked about how it feels to be Hollywood’s go-to goth and why everyone expects her to take her clothes off on screen.
VICE: I just saw the first episode of Penny Dreadful season three.
Eva Green: Oh god. I haven’t seen it. I am not good at watching myself.
So what do you do when you have premieres and things like that? Do you just leave?
Yeah, actually it’s funny, I was thinking about it this morning on the train. Most of the time it’s OK but then one director, I won’t mention his name, took it really, really badly that I couldn’t stay. I stayed for the first 10 minutes then I had to leave. I just can’t… I don’t know, it’s weird.
Because you’re scrutinising yourself?
Yeah. It’s too subjective. It’s negative narcissism. It’s not good. I wish I could. Some actors can [watch themselves and] improve. I can’t.
Penny Dreadful – The all-new Victorian horrors coming your way in the third season of the hit show.
In addition to Jekyll, season three will introduce another physician pulled from the pages of Victoriana – Bram Stoker’s Dr Seward played (in a bit of gender reversal) by veteran actress Patti LuPone. As therapist to Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives, Seward is tasked with overseeing the enigmatic medium’s mental reconstruction in the wake of season two’s narrowing events.
“The thing about Dr Seward is she’s trying desperately to help Vanessa, but she’s a woman of science. So the idea of the supernatural and the occult are things that for her aren’t necessarily grounded in reality. But eventually she comes around to understanding who Vanessa is, and who is behind all of the darkness inside her.”
LuPone appeared in season two of Penny Dreadful as the now deceased witch Joan Clayton (aka the Cut-Wife). But “when the idea of creating someone who helped Vanessa came up, John said, ‘I have to have Patti back.’ It’s revealed throughout the season that perhaps she has some sort of blood relation with Joan Clayton, with the Cut-Wife, so you’ll come to understand why the same actor is playing two different roles.”
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2016 > SFX (UK) – July 2016
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Wim Goossens of Bulletproof Cupid, a film production company, provided the production services when the Tim Burton film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children came to shoot for three weeks in Flanders last summer.
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2016 > Screen Flanders (Belgium) – 2016
Eva Green and her mother, former actress and author Marlène Jobert (with over 20 million copies sold, she’s only behind J.K. Rowling when it comes to children’s books in France), are featured in Vanity Fair Italy. Ms Jobert was interviewed about her autobiography, her life, her family and her career.
The main photo was published by Paris Match back on November 6, 2014, but the interview is brand new.
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2016 > Vanity Fair (Italy) – January 20, 2016
Eva Green feels more like herself when she’s ditched her natural hair colour.
The 34-year-old actress is a natural blonde, but usually sports much darker tresses. That’s been the way for many years, with Eva explaining she feels brunette suits her personality much better, so has stuck with in since first reaching for the dye at 15.
“I wanted to change something. You know, like when you go through your teenage years. I hated school. I was a good student, but I just wanted to breathe in something new,” she told WWD. “I was in awe of a friend of my mum, who had dark hair. She was quite weird, beautiful. I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’ll go to the hairdresser and try that.’ So I went there, I dyed my hair blue-black and came back home. It took me a while to get used to it, and then I actually really liked it. I felt more like myself. It’s weird.”
Eva was talking as part of her role as L’Oréal Professionnel international spokesperson. The brand is releasing a new range called Pro Fiber, which aims to help repair damaged hair.
It’s something the star can get on board with because she’s changed her look a lot for roles, including sporting red tresses and experimenting with fringes.
“Hair defines your character, your state of mind. At the moment I’m in a [Tim] Burton film, and it took weeks and weeks to find the right hairdo. It’s kind of a weird character. Her name is Miss Peregrine, so there is a bit of a birdlike hairdo in her. It helps you to create the character when you find the hairdo. It’s also like a costume,” she said.
The actress was also quizzed on her beauty secrets and was happy to let a couple slip. Unfortunately, there is no quick route to her slim physique and porcelain skin – it’s all about being careful.
“Sun cream, protection, food — what we eat is the most important: lots of green vegetables, raw vegetables, organic. Everything has to be organic,” she said.
Eva Green loves extreme shades when it comes to her hair.
The former Bond girl is known for her striking looks and raven hair. Her natural colour is actually dark blonde which the 35-year-old has always found dull so she likes to experiment – but has had some mishaps along the way.
“I’ve dyed my hair black since I was 15. One of my mum’s friends had very dark hair and blue eyes and I just thought, ‘OK, I have to try it!'” she told British InStyle. “I felt more like myself after I made the colour change. I love extreme shades – I’ve been dark blue, a dark brown and even red at one point. That was a challenging shade because it eventually went green!”
One colour Eva would love to try is bright blonde. But just like Kim Kardashian, who had to give up her platinum locks after only a few weeks earlier this year, the actress thinks it would be too much strain on her tresses.
“I’ve done movies with a blonde wig and I’d love to go blonde. But colourists say it would destroy my hair because of how much I’d have to bleach it,” she explained. “My hair got very damaged because it’s super straight and I always use tongs to give it texture. I’ve just had the new L’Oréal Professionel Pro Fibre Revive in-salon treatment – it makes your hair shiny and healthy.”
Eva likes to be experimental when it comes to her make-up looks too, although it wasn’t always the case.
“I was shy until I was 16 and started at the American School of Paris. It was a chance to be a new me,” she said. “I had new black hair and would match my eyeshadow with my clothes so I’d wear purple or green. It was very theatrical.”
Eva Green is like a vampire because she has to be so careful in the sun.
The 35-year-old actress has completely embraced her ultra pale skin, which means she goes to great lengths to protect it. Even when there is no threat of sun she slathers on sun protection as she knows how sensitive her skin can be.
“I’m like a vampire. I have to wear sunscreen or I look like a prawn! Even in winter I wear SPF30 – Skinceuticals Brightening UV Defence SPF30 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Anti-Shine Dry Touch Gel SPF50+ are my favourites. It’s easier to apply make-up over the top of SPF30 than 50, which can be thick,” she told British magazine InStyle. “I have thin, fragile skin so I’m not a big fan of exfoliating and I don’t tend to get facials either.”
That’s not the only way the French star cares for herself. She’s also very particular about what she will and won’t eat, something she thinks many other people could learn from her.
“My diet is very LA; I eat mainly organic food. The amount of pesticides in our food is outrageous and so many people aren’t aware of what they’re eating,” she explained. “I drink lots of juices and eat kale, and have loads of energy as a result. I’m reading a great book by Dr Joel Fuhrman called Super Immunity about how you can cure all sorts of diseases with food.”
Alongside this, Eva works out regularly. For her exercise it’s just about keeping her body lean though, it’s more how it cares for her wellbeing that she likes.
“I run outside to help with my nerves. It’s a good way to get rid of your demons. Gyms are a bit depressing. You feel like a hamster on a wheel,” she said.
Eva Green’s skin didn’t fare well in the harsh Irish winter.
The French actress is playing Miss Peregrine in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which hits cinema screens next year.
Tim is known for his kooky plots and visuals, and Eva’s hair will not disappoint.
“The role I’m playing now is quite cool. My hair is kind of bonkers. It’s a 40s style with a twist. I also loved my look in another movie I starred in, called Cracks. It’s set in the 30s – all high-waisted pants and bobbed hair,” she told the British version of Marie Claire.
Eva is used to having her hair styled and her make-up applied on set, and she looks equally as glamorous when she hits the red carpet.
Not all of her projects have been as kind on the 35-year-old’s looks though. She’s known for her alabaster skin, which looks extra striking next to her raven locks, but while filming hit TV show Penny Dreadful her skin took a bit of a beating.
“Filming in Ireland last winter really took its toll on my skin,” she revealed. “I rely on a good, fragrance-free make-up remover from Cetaphil or Avène and apply a cold cream to replenish my skin. I always wear SPF, but find factor 50 is too pale and thick, so I use SkinCeuticals Brightening UV Defense SPF 30. I love Sisley’s treatments, too.
“Make-up can be dangerous when you have pale skin – sometimes I can look like Morticia Addams!”
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– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2014 > Haftasonu Magazine (Turkey) – March 2014
– Magazine & Newspaper Scans > 2015 > Estetica The Hair Magazine (Czech & Slovak) – March 2015
In the race to have the first big female-fronted superhero movie (if race is the right word for something that’s taken decades to happen – which it isn’t), Marvel might apparently have a new frontrunner to play Carol Danvers in “Captain Marvel” in the shape of Rebecca Ferguson, but Warner Bros. and DC are undoubtedly in the lead: they had multiple writers penning drafts simultaneously, a director in the shape of “Monster”’s Patty Jenkins, a love interest in Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, and even a Wonder Woman, in Gal Gadot, who’ll first appear in next year’s “Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.”
And now, according to the latest rumor from the rumor-hole, they might have some villains. Heroic Hollywood, who are normally well placed to know about this sort of thing, report that the studio are targeting Eva Green andSean Bean to play the villains in the movie.
Neither are officially signed on, but if she was to get that far, Green would seemingly play sorceress Circe, a key figure in Homer’s Odyssey who’s been a traditional supervillain in the DC-verse since 1959, and an immortal intent on wiping out the Amazons, including Wonder Woman herself. Bean, meanwhile, would be Ares the god of war, and an even longer-serving adversary of Diana Prince (it’s not the actor’s first brush with the pantheon: Bean also played a Greek God, in that case Zeus, in “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief”).
It’s still all to play for, but neither have been particularly shy of taking blockbuster paychecks, and with filming due to begin in November, the Warners do need to find someone to fill the roles sooner rather than later. Once they do, “Wonder Woman” will open on June 23rd, 2017.
Patti LuPone is back for more “Penny Dreadful.”
The Broadway legend, who guest starred as Joan Clayton (aka the Cut-Wife) in the sophomore season of Showtime’s Victorian England-set horror series, is back for season 3 as a series regular. She’ll also be playing a new role: Dr. Seward, an American therapist who treats Eva Green’s bewitching Vanessa Ives with an unconventional new approach.
The third season, which returns in 2016 with nine episodes, will also be adding another familiar name to the list of literary characters who appear on the show. Shazad Latif (“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) will play an interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Henry Jekyll.
“Penny Dreadful” has also added Wes Studi as a series regular. The “Hell on Wheels” and “Red Road” alum plays Kaetenay, an intense, enigmatic Native American with a deep connection to Ethan (Josh Hartnett). He also becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton).
Guest stars also include Christian Camargo as Dr. Alexander Sweet, a zoologist who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vanessa; Sam Barnett as Dr. Seward’s mysterious young secretary; and Jessica Barden as Justine, a young acolyte to Lily (Billie Piper) and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney).
“Penny Dreadful” is created, written and executive produced by John Logan and executive produced by Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions, along with Oscar winner Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris, both of Neal Street Productions. It is a co-production of Showtime and Sky.